A Marine’s past is never far behind him, but sometimes it’s a lot closer than he thinks . . .After years of enjoying the soft, quiet, civilian, family life, former Recon Marine Brandon Colson still has a large price on his head…only his family doesn’t know it. That is, until a heavily armed squad of terrorists breaks into his house and tries to kill him and his family.After swiftly dispatching the would-be assassins, Colson realizes the ghosts from his past have somehow managed to come back to haunt him. His worst nightmare has come true. His identity—a secret until now—has been mysteriously compromised. Something he did years ago, while on a recon mission during his tour of service, has kept anger burning in the hearts of powerful Arab adversaries. And the men who attacked his house are simply an omen of what is to come.With his family in hiding, Colson and local detective Sam Collier set out to locate and neutralize the remainder of the terrorist cell. It’s a race against time, and the plot they uncover along the way defies all expectation.Their fates in the balance until the last second, the two men must fight for their lives as they navigate a trail littered with bloodshed and revenge that leads straight to hell on earth: The Devil’s Garden.
I’m really not so sure where to start with this review. I don’t think I’ve read any novel like this before. Unfortunately, The Devil’s Garden was a real disappointment for me. The first thirty pages had me intrigued, but the rest was much too one-dimensional for my tastes. Marine Brandon Colson, the main character, was an arrogant, self-righteous, ego maniac. He’s supposed to be the hero and main protagonist of the novel and I couldn’t stand him and all of this started right in the beginning when Colson is being interrogated by Collier.
Another thing that bothered me was that as some parts of the novel are entertaining there are parts that drag on. In fact it’s the dialogue which seems to be a little flat. It wasn’t real enough for me. I found the dialogues resembled more of a manuscript written for television. Speaking of which, I can imagine this story as a movie. Dialogues usually help the reader learn more about the characters, however as readers we only seem to learn more and more about my favorite friend Colson. All the other characters remain quite sketchy, including detective Sam Collier who seemed to be slightly stereotypical in my opinion.
The good thing about this book is the author, Brady Christianson. He’s used every bit of his experience as a United States Marine to fashion an engaging plot, with a lot of action, which at times can be violent. For example, in the beginning he compares hitting a fastball with a baseball bat to beheading someone with a Japanese saber. Ouch! No worries the rolling head belonged to one of the bad guys. So yes there is some graphic violence but that should be expected in a thriller. Despite all of this, the writing style flows somewhat and is easy to follow. It’s just too bad the characters weren’t developed enough and that there wasn’t enough real, rich dialogue. It’s because of this that I’m not sure I would have finished it if I hadn’t agreed to review it. The Devil’s Garden isn’t for everybody. The constant religious theme that runs through the novel tends to be just a bit preachy and I would imagine some readers would get a little tired of that aspect. The last good thing about the novel was the humor. It’s amazing that their could be anything humorous in the story after reading the summary, but there is and that shows the balance of the thriller. I rated The Devil in the Garden 2 stars on Goodreads. It’s ok, but not my cup of tea. Nevertheless, I say check it out if you want to read and experience a very different kind of thriller.
Brady Christianson‘s Bio:
Brady Christianson is a former United States Marine Corps Recon Marine whose military service and Christian faith has shaped his writing.